English Weekly Journal : Week 14

Hello!

I’m back after 10 days. It was a very hectic week for me and I can’t be more grateful that I get to rest now. Jeez, although I still have a math test for tomorrow and my friends said it was really hard, so yeah I still need to study after this. For week 14 we were told to bring our typing device. Yes, again, I had to bring my iPad for the class. This week is still all about the Small Change article and grammar checking. Plus, another TOEFL listening practice session.

Week 14 was not much different with the previous week, we’re still working on the Small Change article. This time, after finishing the draft, it’s time to check the grammar. As I said multiple times before, I had a hard time with using the right grammar. Plus, my article was done only in three days, so I wrote anything that came up on my mind.

Mrs. Evi, my English teacher taught us how to use an online grammar checker, there were some, but Mrs. Evi herself uses Grammarly and it actually looks very easy to use. We were told to try it on our own typing devices. The thing is, I used an iPad, and it’s more or less just a bigger version of a mobile phone. Unfortunately, the grammar checker needs to be downloaded and it’s not mobile friendly. Yep, I had no choice but to try it at home on my computer. The iPad was heavy enough and I brought it for nothing 🙂

We also had the listening practice session this week. One thing that I noticed is that the TOEFL listening practice is harder than the IELTS one, for me personally. We had to listen to a quite long conversation or a monologue, anything, a long one and the person on the recording was talking really fast and I had no idea what they were talking about. Thank God, Mrs.Evi let us listen to the recording one more time so I got the points to answer the problems. Can’t imagine how I will do on the real test later.

Week 14 was fun. I need to work more on learning grammar properly so I can write better articles. Using online grammar checker is quite a big help for people like me who had only basic skills on using grammar. Also, more practices for the listening test is a good thing. Thanks for reading my journal. Have a nice day!

 

 

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English Weekly Journal : Week 13

Hello!

It’s been almost a month since the last time I wrote a post in this blog. Well, I’m back again to write about my days in week 13 YAY. Finishing the mid-term week with a (super) short holidays, we are back to school, yet again. We continued with the Small Change article to do some editing and also some grammar analysis with song session.

Once again, just so you know, I had trouble with writing in English (more like writing in general), moreover if it has to be long and structured. Well, I had quite a hard time to finish the Small Change article. I skipped a week of school for the campus tour trip to Japan, so I submit the article a bit late than my friends. I spent days to write only  2 paragraphs and around 5 hours to write the rest 5 paragraphs. Procrastination at it’s best. At least I got to complete it on time.

On week 13, we were told to bring a typing device to school. The thing is, I broke my laptop back in Grade 10, so I had nothing to bring. I mean it’s not like I can bring my computer to school so yeah. I ended up bringing my Mom’s iPad for the class. Turns out we had to type the article on our ‘typing device’ and it was such a pain that I had to write my article on an iPad -.- Oh, and I found out that I actually wrote more than 900 words, it was around 1400 words if I’m not wrong. Well,  I guess last minute spurt after procrastination did things .    .   . .. still, though, it’s a bad thing to procrastinate. Just don’t do it.

This week, we had a session that was super fun for me. We did a grammar analysis to song lyrics. We tried it together with Ms. Evi to ABBA’s Dancing Queen. Things like hyperbole, conjunction, gerund, and personifications, are few things we had to point out from the lyrics. It was fun since we get to sing along to the song while doing the analysis.

I guess school was great since I can meet my friends again and the song analysis was a lot of fun too! I wish we had more activities like this hehe. My article, though, it’s just bad, you can read it on my previous post. Thank you for reading my post again. Have a great day!

Small Change (Revised Version)

Hello!

This is the revised version of my (ugly) article talking about starting a small business. I can’t help but delete a few paragraphs because it went over 1200 words (it’s supposed to be less than 900 words well. . .). Thanks for reading anyway!

(I’ll post the longer version later)

It is not an easy thing to take big risks in life. It’s like the feeling when you lie to your parents for the first time, but this time your future is in the line. That was exactly what I felt five years ago when I first opened my pet shop business. Lack of experience, advertising cost problems, petty customers, and the extremely tiring competitions was a big bundle of obstacles for a beginner like me. But being a boss on my own, meeting people with common interests, and sharing happiness make me realise that all the rough rides are worth the time. My story might be one in a million, but I believe all business amateurs, like me, share the same excitement and worries.

Being a boss, going to work in a suit, and greeting my employees on the way were always my dream since I was a little. Unfortunately, my parents opposed to the idea. I work in big companies before I decided to leave everything behind to start to build my old dreams. I want to prove to my parents that I can do business on my own too. With only minimum knowledge in business and my love for animals, I went around to look for an opportunity to open my own pet shop. I wouldn’t call it a big success when it first started, but I love the look on the children’s faces when they pass by my shop. The look of happiness and adoration. You know it too, right? Of course, you do.

Honestly speaking, the reason I opened the pet shop business was purely based on my love for animals. I don’t have great experience in running a business nor taking care a mass amount of animals. Some people may have a knack for running a business, but it is unavoidable for amateurs like me to feel so. You may learn things from when you work for someone, but being a boss yourself is not something that can be learned from the book. Reading books about business do give you some inside scoop about running a business, though. Another thing that helps me is the advice I got from fellow business owners. Things like to never have stereotype on people, keep calm in handling thing, and always be positive. Loving your job is also a thing. It is hard to start the day when you know you won’t like what you’ll do for the whole day. So, if you want to start your own business, consider doing something that you love and have passion in to make it easier for you to have a long run.

My lack of experience brought another problem for me, that is in advertising my business. Using advertising company might cost a lot, so I challenged myself to be more creative. It was difficult at first, but as it is the era of social media, not much work need to be done. Having basic knowledge in editing photos, posters, or making a video will really be handy. One thing to be careful of is that not only positive things are shared on social media, customers might post negative sides about your business. Advertisement can be in any form and words spread from mouth to mouth is a very effective way of indirect advertisement. Challenge yourself to get close to people with common interest as your business. Just think of it like the thrilling first day in high school.While talking about money, it is also not easy to manage it, so hiring a talented worker with experience might be a better choice. There will, of course, be a bump in spending a little more for salary, but hiring a top talent can bring in more money.

The most important thing in starting a business is to keep yourself in check, especially when you’re the boss yourself. Remember that even if you start this business yourself, that doesn’t mean that you’re working alone. There will be employees, partners, and customers around. Trust, trust, and trust. When you fail to reach the target profit, you lose trust in yourself. When you disappoint a customer, they lose their trust on you. It is essential to be confident in your skill. Keep your focus on the competition around, as things can get dirty at times, do collect your mind and just keep track of what you’re doing.

Starting business can be hard, but there are also rainbows in doing it. In general, starting up a business can improve your social skill. Being polite and friendly is a must, and you’ll get used to it. Meeting new people is also a given. Getting more information, more people to work with, and more people to share happiness. Running your own business also means that you get to be your own boss with flexible work hours. When the business blew up, you can get incomes, offer jobs to people, and even hand your business down in the future.

Rough times, no experience, no income, a bad reputation will be worth it when the business blows up and you get the profits and joy. Certainly, there are possibilities of a failed business, but work, more work, and keep on working will bring you great results. Taking risks does hurt, but it’s never too late to try. There will be rainbows after the rain.

English Weekly Journal : Week 10 (+continuation for Draft Paragraph)

Midterm tests in just less than 3 days and I feel like crying now. I will have biology on Monday but I skipped two meetings so I missed quite a lot of materials and I have a lot to catch up. I’m worried for the tests because my formative tests grades are not satisfying enough. Thank God the teachers gave us some review of all the materials and it helps me a lot.

We didn’t do much this week. I spent the first meeting to work on my magazine article and on the second meeting Ms. Evi gave us a review for the midterm tests in a fun way. She hosted a mini game for the class. It’s like the ‘Millionaire’ game thingy, I forgot the name. ‘Who wants to be a millionaire?’, was it? I’m not sure.We split into 5 groups and took turns to answer questions about grammars, like conditional sentences and simple past and present tense. My group scored quite a lot at first but on the second round we failed to answer few questions, mostly because we took too long to answer (we answered it correctly though). There are questions about history, language, inventions, and riddles for the jeopardy round. It was so much fun, I like this kind of simple activity to start the day, since I have English class in the morning on Wednesday.

In the previous post, I didn’t include the draft paragraph for the small business magazine article completely, so here it is! (the left out part)

The article will talk about starting and running a small business as an amateur, so the experience that will be told in the article should be explained perfectly to have people interested in starting a business. To make it more interesting, the tone and mood of the article should be happy and friendly but still formal. Using the first point of view will help a lot. Addressing the readers in a friendly way is a must. Plus, putting some anecdotes about business related stuffs might set the mood brighter. Other things that will help the article to be more realistic and convincing is by including facts like surveys, statistics, or expert opinions on starting a business. Business related terms can be used too. It is fine to use long and complex sentences to explains things that are difficult to understand in the article (like business related terms).

An article should be structured to make it easy to read. Opening, body, and concluding paragraph is a must for the structure. Opening paragraph should mention briefly about the challenges and rewards of starting a small business in general and the pet shop business. The later paragraphs, the body paragraphs will then talk about each challenges and rewards in details with the help of rhetorical devices (list of three, personal involvement, audience involvement, repetition, etc.) to make it more engaging for the readers. Things like metaphors or simile will do too, as it might help to explain the excitement and worries in a more detailed way. The concluding paragraph should conclude the whole experience of starting a business. Advice, tips, or fun facts in the closing paragraph might help in leaving the impression on the readers. Encouraging the readers to start a business is the aim of the article and it is a must to keep the mood alive along the text.

 

Thanks for reading my journal again! Hope you have a nice day!

English Weekly Journal : Week 9 (+Draft Paragraph)

Next week is already time for midterm tests and here I am, not yet done with my assignments. I skipped a week of school to visit universities around Japan and it was so much fun, but now I regret it. I missed so many assignments at school and no time to rest. The most difficult one out of all the tasks is definitely the magazine article. As you all know already, I’m super bad at writing, so it was kind of hard for me. But then I realized if I try hard enough I can do anything I put my focus on, so then I went along and finished it after a week of overcoming all the challenges.

The story goes like this, we were told to write a magazine article about the challenges and rewards on starting a small business with the titled ‘Small Change’ with the minimum of 600 words to 900 words. Honestly speaking, I’m not good -at all- in writing long text like that. I have bad grammar skills and narrow vocabulary. I had a hard time to stop repeating the same words over and over again. I wrote things, read it, and erased it again. I need to overcome the ‘writer block’, but then again I was never in the mood to write anyway:”)) My brother wasn’t there to help me and it passed midnight already, I felt really bad if I had to ask my friends to help me. I had a week to work on it but I have only around four hours everyday to write the article. At some point, I ended up using my sleeping time(?) /cries/

Have you ever tried writing about something you have no idea what is it about? Yep, I did that. I have zero interest in business, therefore I did some research about running one. I chose pet shop business – I don’t know why, don’t ask me hehe – for my article. I lack information on how is it like to run a pet shop business or just business in general. I don’t have any relatives who run a business also. I gave up on writing at some point and started procrastinating .   .   .    .  ….   . like I always do.

Only after a day before deadline, I decided to ask a friend of mine on how to write it properly. It was too late (I wrote about 400 words already, and that was only the third paragraph :””)) ) but I had to finish it anyway. My friend told me to include facts about business and I put some. But I failed to do the most important thing, that is to make it as article-like as I can. I’m not into reading long article – a business related one on top of that-    so I had no idea how a business article is like. I wrote it like how I write my weekly journal, it was almost like a story. But then, I wrote anything that was on my mind and continue until I reached over 800 words (my writing probably made no sense :”)). I’m grateful and happy that I get to finished it on time. Writing the draft outlining was a great help for me. Thanks, Ms. Evi!

Now, I’m going to share my draft for the magazine article!

 

Keypoints :

  • Text type : an article from a business or lifestyle related magazine
  • Purpose : to discuss about starting a small business
  • Writer : as an owner of a small business ( I was thinking of writing about opening a pet shop or a cake shop)
  • Content : challenges and rewards of starting a small business
  • Tone : excitement but also worries
  • Length : 600-900 words

Points for draft

  • Layout of a magazine article (with an opening that talks about my business in general then go into the details on the next paragraphs), addressing the readers as ‘you’ to make it more friendly but still formal, there will be few business related terms used in the text
  • Write all the plus and negative points of starting a small business to make it neutral (not neutral but hmm I don’t know how to explain this), it will be a formal text but friendly and easy to read
  • Use hyperbole or metaphor to create a sense of excitement or worry, also to make it realistic and relate-able put an anecdote or someone’s experience in opening a small business, it is okay to use long and complex sentences to explain things that are hard to understand (like business related terms) in the article
  • Use rhetorical devices to make the writing more interesting, and include some business related facts like survey or stuffs
  • Challenges of starting a small business : competing with big names in the industry, when the business doesn’t make any profit, when the costumers stop coming or is disappointed, keeping the mood and excitement alive, lack of experience, fear in taking big risks, and so on.
  • Rewards of starting a small business : all the profits, having connections, meeting new good people, the experience, happy costumers, being a boss, spreading the wings of my business

Keypoints per paragraphs

  • Paragraph 1 : general introduction to how is it like/how it feels like to starts a                                            business, talk about the pet shop business I run, mention briefly about                              the challenges and rewards in starting a small business (in list of                                         three)
  • Paragraph 2 : more details about how I ended up with my pet shop business, how is                                the condition now, more details about my business
  • Paragraph 3 : Challenges ( lack of experience), talk about learning tips from books                                  and advices, anecdotes
  • Paragraph 4 : Challenges (advertising and money problems), talk about the power of                             advertising in social media and spreading words mouth – to-mouth,                                    managing money
  • Paragraph 5 : Challenges (tiring competition and keeping trust); trust in self, trust in                            partners, and trust with costumers; keep in check
  • Paragraph 6 : Rewards (in general), improve social skills, meeting new people (having                            connection), sharing happiness, being a boss, business to hand over,                                 getting profits, and offering jobs to people
  • Paragraph 7 : Rewards (plus points I get from opening the pet shop), meeting people                              with common interest, being happy by doing the job I love
  • Paragraph 8 : Concluding paragraph, there will be plus and negative points in                                            starting a business, mention briefly again about the challenges and                                     rewards

English Weekly Journal : Week 8

Back again with my weekly journal post, and it’s already week 8 of the first semester. Midterm test is just around the corner and lazy me haven’t start preparing yet. I’m not sure why, but I forgot to tell you all that I had my English formative test on the previous post hence I’m going to talk about it here. Also I will write the continuation for the super-long-article-drafting-thingy (it’s Writing for a Specific Audience or Typical Writing).

I had the formative test for English on week 7. Exactly just like how my friend said, it’s not THAT hard but there’s SO much to do. The test consists of multiple choices section, directed writing essay, and writing a journal. And again, clumsy me started working on the multiple choice section first, well, it’s mostly grammar related question, and you know how bad I am with grammar right? Yeah, you can imagine the time I spent on just one question. Ugh, I just hope I passed the standard score this time. Thank God though, the directed writing section was easier to do. We only had to do the same one as the one we did before. The restaurant review one if you are wondering, I posted about it on week 4 or 5. But well, like the saying ‘it’s not over ’till it’s over‘, that was exactly what I went through. On the last section, we had to write a 350 words (if I’m not wrong) long journal about all the things we learned in English Class for the past 6 weeks. Plus, we had to write it with pen, and I despise writing with pen since junior high school (not sure why, I just did, don’t ask). I had a hard time to think and write in just 15 minutes, as the result it was extremely disorganized and I didn’t even know what I wrote there, it probably didn’t make any sense, but thankfully I finished it right when the bell rang. I pray the best for my score :”))

Back to the main topic, we continued the draft for the small business article, but since I spent one meeting on week 7 to have my formative test, I didn’t get to join one meeting about this topic. That’s why it was kinda hard for me to work on it although the questions on the book were quite a help. Here are points from the questions that will help with that writing process if you are curious.

  • Conventions of a magazine article : form/layout/structure, typical modes of address to readers, likely vocabulary, turns of phrase, and so on.
  • Writer point of view : What to write about? What voice will I use? Level of formality?
  • Mood and Tone : examples or anecdotes, particular vocabulary, figures of speech, types of sentences, etc.
  • Purpose and Techniques of the writing : devices and ways of writing that will fit the text and purposes.
  • Content or Structure : what challenges and rewards will be mentioned in the article? How will I as the writer start, develop, and end my piece?

Ms.Evi told us to answer the points first before anything, so here is my small draft that I haven’t finished yet.

Keypoints :

  • Text type : an article from a business or lifestyle related magazine
  • Purpose : to discuss about starting a small business
  • Writer : as an owner of a small business ( I was thinking of writing about opening a pet shop or a cake shop)
  • Content : challenges and rewards of starting a small business
  • Tone : excitement but also worries
  • Length : 600-900 words

Points for draft

  • Layout of a magazine article (with an opening that talks about my business in general then go into the details on the next paragraphs), addressing the readers as ‘you’ to make it more friendly but still formal, there will be few business related terms used in the text
  • Write all the plus and negative points of starting a small business to make it neutral (not neutral but hmm I don’t know how to explain this), it will be a formal text but friendly and easy to read
  • Use hyperbole or metaphor to create a sense of excitement or worry, also to make it realistic and relate-able put an anecdote or someone’s experience in opening a small business, it is okay to use long and complex sentences to explain things that are hard to understand (like business related terms) in the article
  • Use rhetorical devices to make the writing more interesting, and include some business related facts like survey or stuffs
  • Challenges of starting a small business : competing with big names in the industry, when the business doesn’t make any profit, when the costumers stop coming or is disappointed, keeping the mood and excitement alive, lack of experience, fear in taking big risks, and so on.
  • Rewards of starting a small business : all the profits, having connections, meeting new good people, the experience, happy costumers, being a boss, spreading the wings of my business

Keypoints per paragraphs

  • Paragraph 1 : introduce the topic or issue, mention the shop I run, my feelings about                       opening the business, some facts about business related stuffs
  • Paragraph 2 : more details about why I ended up with my own shop, when did it open,                   how it is going now, fun facts
  • Paragraph 3 : Challenges ( lack of experience, time to set up), learning from books,                         asking around for advice
  • Paragraph 4 : Challenges (costs, ways of advertising, problems with stock and loans),                   spreading words around
  • Paragraph 5 : Challenges (competition with big names, when disappointing a                                   costumer or fail to satisfy the needs, when the competition gets dirty,                                keeping the excitement alive)
  • Paragraph 6 : Rewards (being my own boss, happy costumers, meeting new people)
  • Paragraph 7 : Rewards (business to hand over, maximizing my business
  • Paragraph 8 : Rewards (having connection)
  • Paragraph 9 : Concluding paragraph (Overview : has it been worth it?)

That was my unfinished draft, it’s not yet deep into the detail, and I plan to work on starting the writing process on week 10 since I got things to do on week 9 that is will be impossible for me to attend school for the whole week. Plus, I’m not yet ready for it. As always. I hope I won’t miss too much stuff. I will post my final draft and the writing result of the article on the next post. Thanks again for reading my journal. Have a nice day everyone!

 

 

English Weekly Journal : Week 7

Hi, everyone! I’m back again to share you few stories(?) (or is it experience(?), I’m not sure\0\) about things I learned in English class. I was very busy for the whole week, I had Student Council and like other things that (again) I forgot to post my weekly journal. First thing first, this is going to be super short, unlike usual. We had a day off if I’m not wrong, so we skipped one meeting for English Class. I do remember we had a grammar review session about Sentences and the super-long-article-drafting-thingy ( I don’t know a better name than this sorry), though.

I think I learned about types of sentences in elementary days not in English class, but Indonesian Language class. I’m not sure if it’s the same thing or not but it’s not that different. When I took notes in class, I tend to summarized it immediately so not everyone can understand. But I hope you do. So here’s my super-simple-but-hard to understand note about Sentences! I put some examples for each categories, but I’m not sure if it’s right or not hehe

SENTENCES

  • Simple Sentence : sentence consists of one clause (Subject + Predicate or Subject + Verb)

Example : My sister works for the government.

  • Compound Sentence: sentence with two or more independent clauses with Coordinate Conjunction (FANBOYS)

Example :  My sister loves taking pictures, but she doesn’t have a camera.

(The pictures below are taken from Ms.Evi’s presentation and I hope it helps!)

  • Complex Sentence : sentence consists of at least one independent clause + at least one dependent clause with Subordinate Conjunction

Example : I work as a dentist in Jakarta, which is super far from my house.

  • Compound Complex Sentence : sentences with at least 2 independent clauses + at least one dependent clause

Example : I live in Bogor, but I work as a dentist in Jakarta, which is super far from my                   house.

  • Sentence Fragment : sentence with no independent clause, may be an incomplete sentence

Example : As a dentist

As I said before, starting from this week we are going to start learning more about writing for a specific audience. Ms. Evi told us to read an example of a typical question that will came out on the Cambridge test on the book. The thing is, we have to write an article about the excitement and the worries of starting a small business with 600-900 words. After that, she wanted us to make a draft with a few questions that will help us with the writing process. And this is what I love about her class, we start step by step and not directly into writing the extremely long article that I believe I will spend a hard time with.

I will talk about the questions and my draft in the next post. I’m not yet ready to write that much in English so please pray for me hihi. I’m really sorry for posting things late than it should. I will continue to be better from now on. I wish everyone a pleasant day!